We wanted to give you all a closer look at the combat systems. In this update we'll detail a little more about how combat works currently and future plans for improvements.
Please keep in mind that all of the systems detailed here may change during development based on feedback and testing.
We chose to go with turn based combat, first and foremost, because we all have fond memories of playing games featuring turn based combat. We wanted a strategic approach to combat and to let the players be able to take the time to think about their next move rather than stressing them out with active time hybrid models or real time combat. There is nothing wrong with either of the latter models, but we feel that turn based combat is a good fit for Earthlock.
- Turn based combat: plan your moves rather than reacting
- Combat Pairs access unique pair abilities
- Chaining of elemental attacks
- Enemy states change during combat
- Full control over all pairs during combat
To make more variations to the normal combat team setup, we have paired two and two player characters.
- Pairs are composed of one Warrior and one Protector
- Warriors are the main damage dealers
- Protectors buff, debuff and heal.
- Some protectors also have offensive abilities.
We have capped the team at three pairs at the moment, but the system can easily be expanded should we wish to do so.
When pairing two party members, they become one battle unit with shared health and stats. You can swap the protectors and this will greatly affect the pair stats. For example you can pair a protector with high magic stats and a warrior with high attack stats to create an all round team or you could pair two characters with high magic stats to make a strong magical team. This will allow for you to customize combat tactics depending on how you enjoy playing.
Special Combo Abilities
The warriors and protector pairs when combined in different ways grant each other unique abilities that will greatly affect the combat when facing larger enemies and bosses. For example, Ive and Taika have a combined electricity and wind attack called “Perfect Storm”, which will only be available when pairing Taika and Ive. Pairing Taika with Amon instead will yield another type of combination ability. These abilities will have both characters work together to perform them and consume a lot more SP than other normal abilities.
- Meet new playable characters as you explore Umbra
- New playable characters means more available pairing options
- More pairing options means more combo abilities
- Bond system - pairs for stronger the longer they are paired
We have an idea for an ability tree for each unique pair. Some of the abilities gained will be transferrable when you pair up new characters, but some will only be available to each unique pair.
Status Effects System
- Status effects give positive or negative effects to yourself or your enemies
- Immunities will negate some effects
- Status effects can last complete combat, a few rounds or until healed or counteracted
These effects can modify your health like Poison or Regeneration or modify other stats like Shield adds to the defence stat or Darkness reduces the attack stat. Abilities can also add types of elemental status effects described in the next section.
The elemental system is the classical system where an attack can have a type of element associated with it and if the target has a weakness towards that type of element the attack will have a much larger effect.
An example would be that an Ice Attack will deal much more damage to a Fire type enemy, as we have shown in the GIF above.
We are trying to incorporate the system so that all or at least most of the abilities will have a type of element and a lot of the tactics when fighting is figuring out what type of element the enemy is weak against. The type of element can be indicated through the look of the enemy, the area the player is in or even be completely hidden on some enemies.
The 10 ‘elements’ defined at the moment are:
Abilities with certain elements can have a chance of inflicting what we call an Elemental Status Effect.
- Chain elements to achieve greater damage
- Example: Fire Pearl causes "heated", follow-up Wind Spud causes "Blaze" for added damage
These elemental status effects will not last long though so you will need be fast with the chaining attack. The goal is to create enough depth in the tactical combat to keep things interesting for a long time. In order to use any magical attack you will need to bring the right ammo. And to get the ammo you will need to grow it.
The game will feature a wide variety of weapons for each Warrior, but we do not want the weapons to become outdated as soon as you obtain a new and better one. Instead of simply being better than the last the weapons will feature both advantages and disadvantages to the Warrior. This will be achieved through properties or passive abilities on the weapon that modifies the warriors stats or adds some sort of effect. Some weapons can have more attack power but lowers the warriors defence or have fire boosting effects while being weaker than regular with other elemental attacks.
When you have found a weapon you like we want you to be able to keep using it in combat for as long as you want. For a weapon to stay relevant throughout the game we will have a weapon upgrade/crafting system where the weapon can be boosted and or modified to suit your needs. This system has not been designed fully yet so we will talk more about it later.